Any Guru Will Do
by Phil Brown, University of Queensland Press,
paperback, 216 pages, $23.95
Maybe the secret to writing a good autobiography is selfmockery.
Certainly, Phil Brown, a writer and poet from Queensland who is in search of meaning, has a great line in self-deprecation.
He mocks his early poetry mercilessly. His contact with Bruce Dawe and Les Murray is seen as suitably gauche. His attempt to embrace Catholicism, in part because both Dawe and Murray were practitioners, is delightfully naive.
Then he is cajoled into the happy-clappy singing variety of Christianity; meditation with Dadaji, a guru from the Blue Mountains who washes up in Rockhampton; some psychoanalysis on the Gold Coast; body purification at a health farm; Transactional Analysis and group therapy, colonic irrigation, Filipino faith healing, reincarnation, Chinese medicine and acupuncture, and then on to clairvoyants, naturopaths and other miscellaneous gurus.
It's a hilarious journey through the byways of religion and the healing industry by a suitably wry, neurotic and insightful traveller.
Copyright © Phil Brown